It is to be recalled that in 2015, the Government of Ethiopia made a high-level fifteen-year commitment to end stunting in children under two years by 2030.
This commitment, known as the Seqota Declaration, is being implemented through a multi-sectoral program involving nine different sector ministries.
The impact assessment of the Seqota Declaration was revealed on Sunday in the Seqota town of the Amhara region in the presence of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke, Ministers of relevant ministries, and pertinent stakeholders.
During the occasion, Demeke, also the Patron of the Seqota Declaration, said the problem of stunting had been observed in many children in several parts of Ethiopia noting that comparatively, the challenge is rampant in the Tekeze basin and the surrounding areas.
The federal government has been working to address the problem by designing a strategy, Demeke added.
According to him, promising outcomes have been registered in the efforts so far undertaken in a collaborated manner to overcome stunting by improving the nutrition system of the country.
“The success story which had been achieved in the four-year performance of the innovation phase of the declaration needs to be scaled up in the expansion phase of Seqota Declaration which was launched in August 2021 and will be implemented in 240 Woredas,” he added.
Considering the strong partnership and effective contribution of development partners during the innovation phase (2018 to 2021), Demeke urged all stakeholders to contribute to the successful implementation of the Expansion Phase in preventing child death and averting stunting.
The impact assessment report presented during the meeting indicated that Sekota declaration intervention has shown remarkable progress in reducing stunting cases and child death.
As indicated in the assessment report of the Seqota declaration, the stunting of children under two years of age has been reduced by 3 percent at the national level.
Increased coverage of Agricultural production, health services, social behavior change communication, water, and sanitation, and hygiene interventions contributed to the observed reduction of stunting cases and child deaths.
The assessment report stated that improved complementary feeding was the primary driver in reducing stunting.
It was learned that respective ministries in agriculture, health, education, water and energy, social protection and women, irrigation, transport, culture and tourism, finance, innovation, and technology are working together to achieve the goal of the Seqota Declaration in ending stunting.